***** June 2012 *****
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, 19 June 2012 at St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound (101 Airlie Road). Social Hour begins at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7:30. NOTE: This is not our normal meeting date. Please mark your calendar.
We invite and welcome all people with an interest in Civil War history to attend a meeting of the Cape Fear Civil War Round Table. The speakers for our programs are diverse in their views, interpretations, and presentations. This serves our purpose of encouraging education and research into that historic conflict.
***** June Program *****
The Rise of Hood’s Texans: Recruitment through Antietam
Dr. Susannah Ural
In the spring of 1861, Northerners and Southerners rushed to arms in response to the crisis at Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers. Some of those men organized into the Texas Brigade, which quickly rose to fame as one of the elite units of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The Texas Brigade was initially comprised of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Texas Infantry Regiments. After John Bell Hood became the Texas Brigade’s brigadier on March 7, 1862, Hood’s Texans quickly built their fighting reputations at Eltham’s Landing, the Seven Pines, Gaines’s Mill, Second Manassas, and in the Cornfield at Antietam.
“The Rise of Hood’s Texans: Recruitment through Antietam” discusses their early organization. Their first winter in camp, and their first campaign season in 1862 that begins so dramatically at Gaines’s Mill and ends in bloody tragedy at Sharpsburg, Maryland.
Hood’s Fifth Infantry Regiment, Texas Volunteers 1861
Susannah Ural holds a Ph.D. in history from Kansas State University. She specializes in nineteenth-century America, with an emphasis on the socio-military experiences of Civil War soldiers and their families. She taught at Sam Houston State University in Texas from 2000 - 2009 and recently joined the history faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a senior fellow in USM's Center for the Study of War and Society and is also part of USM's Center for the Study of the Gulf South. Dr. Ural teaches courses on the U.S. Civil War era, nineteenth-century America, U.S. military history, and Irish-American and U.S. immigration history. She is an active member of the Society of Civil War Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the Society for Military History, and is on the editorial board of and the journal . Her masters and doctoral students generally write on socio-military topics, looking at the motivations and experiences of Civil War soldiers or they study a Civil War-era community responding to war.
In 2006, Dr. Ural published (NYU Press). NYU Press published her edited essay collection, , in November 2010.
***** Raffle Winners *****
Raffle Master: Ed Gibson
If you have books, prints, or other items that you would like to donate to the CFCWRT raffle, talk to Ed at our next meeting.
Congratulations to the winners of the raffle.
Battle Cry of Freedom Martha Watson
Politically Incorrect Guide to the South Bob Cooke
Never Call Retreat Bill Carshaw
Starbuck Chronicles Bob Cooke
Widow of the South Ed Mahoney
With My Face to the Enemy Martha Watson
***** Trivia Questions for June 2012 *****
1 – Who was the first commander of the Texas Brigade after it was formed on October 22, 1861?
2 – Where is Eltham’s Landing?
3 – The Texas Brigade garnered a reputation for being somewhat disrespectful of military authority. How did they react to officers they felt were less than sufficient to command them?
4 – What observation did General Lee share with John Bell Hood about precautions needed when Hood’s Texans were in an area?
5 – How many artifacts were recovered from the Modern Greece during the 1962 - 1963 salvage effort?
6 – Who was the famous passenger on the Condor when the ship ran aground on October 1, 1864? Why was this passenger so insistent on reaching shore and avoiding Yankee capture?
***** Member News *****
If you have member news that you think would be of interest to CFCWRT membership, let me know about it.
1 – Martha Watson and Linda Lashley made the May issue of Civil War News when they took part in the Cameron Art Museum’s first living history weekend that commemorated the February 20-21, 1865 Battle of Forks Road.
2 – Bob Maffitt has received a certificate of award from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Fort Fisher Chapter 2325, for his service during the Vietnam conflict and for his efforts to preserve the history of Captain John Newland Maffitt and the CSS Florida.
3 - A Modern Greece Commemoration Symposium will be held in the Azalea Room of the Fisher University Union at UNCW on June 26, 2012 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Among the speakers will be outstanding historians who have written extensively about the Civil War and the impact that blockading running had on this area. Robert Browning - “Lincoln’s Blockade,” Stephen Wise – “Four Years of Blockade Running,” Chris Fonvielle – “Cape Fear Defenses,” Kevin Foster – “Modern Greece and its Career.” Underwater archaeologist, Gordon Watts, will provide a view of underwater archaeology some fifty years after initial recovery efforts on the Modern Greece. The symposium will be free of charge; however, Pre-registration will be required – call 910-458-9042 or email: email@example.com.
4 – On June 27, 2012, an Open House will be held at the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch Lab at the Fort Fisher Historic Site. The Open House will be free of charge and will allow the public to tour the lab and talk to Archaeologist and Historians about the 1862 salvage and later activities in the Cape Fear region. Hours of the tours will be from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM.
5 – 1st NC Co. E - The newly formed 1st North Carolina Company E has made the Cameron Art Museum its home site. The unit will provide monthly civil war activities on the museum's grounds, so come and watch drills, rifle firings and more. Engage with the reenactors about their passion for providing living history and explore the historic Civil War site where the Battle of Forks Road took place. The museum’s site is where Major General Robert F. Hoke made his last stand against Union soldiers comprised primarily of U.S. Colored Troops in the final fight for Wilmington on February 20, 1865. Check the museum website http://www.cameronartmuseum.com/index.php?c=calendar for the calendar events involving the 1st NC. The next drill will be held on May 19th from 10:00AM – 2:00PM.
6 – On May 12th, Bob Cooke, Becky Sawyer, Dan Geddie, Dale Lear, Joe Hack, and Tim Winstead attended the North Carolina Military Historical Society’s Civil War Symposium at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh. The speakers, several of whom had previously spoken to the Round Table and several others, who should in the future, were excellent in their presentations that focused on North Carolina and its people during the Civil War.
7 – The members of the CFCWRT are always glad when visitors join us at our meetings. Larry Hathcock, from the Michigan Regimental Round Table (http://www.farmlib.org/mrrt/), probably traveled the farthest to attend our meeting. Larry, who lives in Ortonville, Michigan, was making a tour of sites of the naval war along the eastern seaboard that included stops in Annapolis, Norfolk, and Fort Fisher.
***** June 1862 *****
In June 1862 McClellan continued his advance on Richmond. Lincoln complained that his approach was too cautious and that McClellan was not taking advantage of the confusion and panic Unionist spies had detected in Richmond.
June 1st: Robert E Lee was given command of the Confederate troops defending Richmond following the wounding of General Johnson. A renewed Confederate assault on Fair Oaks resulted in many Confederate casualties – in total the Confederates lost 8,000 men killed, wounded or missing at Fair Oaks. The Unionists lost nearly 6,000 men in total.
June 3rd: Corinth, Mississippi fell to Unionist forces. Their next target was Memphis, Tennessee. A Unionist advance threatened Charleston, South Carolina.
June 4th: The Army of the Potomac prepared for their advance on Richmond.
June 6th: This day dealt two major blows to the Confederates. First, they lost Ashley Turner, considered to be a highly gifted cavalry commander at a time when cavalry units were coming more and more into the war. Second, in a confrontation on the Mississippi, the Confederate Navy lost seven out of eight armed riverboats to a Union fleet that lost none of its seven gunboats. The Confederates lost 80 men killed or wounded and had over 100 taken prisoner. The fleet was guarding Memphis, which fell to Union forces that day. The victory also meant that the Unionist Navy had effective control of the whole of the Mississippi River where it was navigable.
June 7th: Unionists reconnaissance units came into sight of Richmond. In New Orleans, General Butler sentenced William Mumford to death for tearing down the Union flag flying over the city’s mint.
June 8th: 8,000 Confederate troops fought 18,000 Union troops at Cross Keys in the Shenandoah Valley. At the same time another battle took place at Port Republic, four miles along the Valley. Neither battle is conclusive but in total the Unionists lost 850 men killed and wounded. The Confederates lost about 600 men in both battles.
June 12th: After three days rest, Jackson’s army made a move to Richmond to support Lee. Jackson’s 20,000 men had effectively tied up 60,000 Unionist troops in the Shenandoah Valley. Jefferson Davis had initially feared a two-pronged Unionist attack on Richmond but the work of Lee all but ruled this out.
June 15th: Reports from scouting parties convinced Lee that McClellan’s communication lines were very weak. In an attempt to outthink McClellan, Lee sent 10,000 in the direction of the Shenandoah Valley ostensibly to support Jackson– even though they would never get there as Jackson’s men were marching at speed for Richmond. Lee hoped that McClellan’s poor communication would convince him to keep his 60,000 men in the Valley to fight the extra 10,000 men who marched to be seen by the Unionists – but who were never intended to get to the Shenandoah Valley.
June 17th: President Lincoln was still not convinced that his generals were as offensively minded as he was. Lincoln believed that General John Pope fitted this requirement and appointed him commander of the newly created Army of Virginia.
June 18th: Lincoln wrote to McClellan urging him to attack Richmond. He wrote that with 10,000 less men – those men who had been directed to the Shenandoah Valley – the city was ripe for taking. McClellan viewed the situation differently. He believed that the Confederates had to be exceptionally well dug in and confident of victory if they could allow 10,000 men to leave the city. His response to Lincoln’s exhortation to be more aggressive was to be more cautious!
June 19th: Lincoln made it known that he planned to outlaw slavery in all states in America.
June 24th: The first exchange of fire took place between troops near Richmond.
June 25th: McClellan ordered his men to advance on the left flank of Richmond. He also sent a letter to Washington DC that stated that he was facing an army of 200,000 men and that if he lost to them it would not be his fault and that he would die fighting with his men. McClellan made it clear that if he did lose the battle, there was nothing to stop the Confederates attacking the capital. To the end McClellan remained cautious. But it was a simple fact. If he did lose, what would stop Lee and then Davis entering Washington DC?
June 26th: Lee attacked Unionist forces outside Richmond at Mechanicsville. Lee had decided that attack was his best form of defence. However, an accurate and severe Unionist artillery bombardment threw back the Confederates. Lee withdrew his forces. McClellan remained very cautious and feared that a second attack would be more successful. Despite arguments to the contrary from his in-the-field commanders, McClellan ordered his forward troops to withdraw from their entrenched lines.
June 27th: Lee’s men attacked as expected but the Unionists he expected to face were withdrawing across the Chickahominy River. The withdrawal was disciplined but the Confederates did capture a large amount of Union supplies. Lincoln was furious that McClellan had been overcautious.
June 28th: The Union Army continued its withdrawal and destroyed supplies at White House Landing rather than let them fall into the hands of the Confederates.
June 29th: The Army of the Potomac continued its withdrawal.
June 30th: Lee ordered an attack on McClellan’s troops with all the 80,000 men at his disposal. However, it was never coordinated and by dusk it was plain that the attack had not been anywhere near decisive. If anything, the failed attack acted as a boost to the Unionists after what had happened in the previous three days.
Source: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/june-1862-civil-war.htm, accessed April 17, 2012.
***** June 1862 cont’d *****
While the blockade runner, Modern Greece, was floundering off Fort Fisher on the morning of June 27, 1862, Union General Ambrose Burnside was approving the formation of a regiment of loyal Union men in Carteret County. The First North Carolina Union Volunteers was to be commanded by a member of General John Foster’s staff, Captain Edward E. Potter, and its purpose was to protect the loyal citizens in the Union occupied portion of North Carolina. The volunteers were to be a home guard as clarified by an enlistment poster distributed among the citizens.
TO THE PEOPLE
The Government of the United States, by Major-General Burnside in command of the Department of North Carolina, has authorized the raising of a regiment in the Eastern part of this State, which regiment will be under the protection of the United States, and commanded by a United States Officer. We, the undersigned, having full authority so to do, invite the citizens of this and neighboring counties to assist us in this enterprise.
All who are willing to enlist under the “Old Flag,” will be paid, clothed, and fed by the United States.
The Line Officers will be chosen by the men of the respective companies. The Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major, and Adjutant will be appointed by the United States.
It is to be understood that this regiment is intended for the protection of loyal citizens by bringing them together under military discipline and will not be called upon to leave the State. Those able to bear arms who stand aloof from this movement cannot expect that the Government will protect those who make no effort to aid themselves.
EDWARD E. POTTER, Capt. U.S.A.
Col. Commanding 1st Reg. N.C.V.
JOHN R. RESSVESS
Acting Lieut. Col. 1st Reg. N.C.V.
Washington, Beaufort Co. North Carolina
Why did some white North Carolinians take up arms against their own state? This was a complex question that involved more than anti-secession feelings or opposition to slavery. In Wayne K. Durrill’s War of Another Kind: A Southern Community in the Great Rebellion, Durill examined the stresses created between the planters, yeoman farmers, landless white laborers, free blacks and slaves in Union occupied coastal North Carolina (Washington County). For some men, the formation of Union Volunteers provided a means of “payback” against some of their neighbors and an opportunity to seize property. For others, it was a matter of economics and surviving in the turmoil that impacted their lives for the Federal Government had committed to support the volunteers and their families, if they pledged loyalty to the Union. Later in the war, the Union 2nd Regiment provided a haven for deserters and draft escapees from the Confederate Army. For whatever their reasons, more than 1,300 men chose to serve with the Union Army.
Eventually, the North Carolina Volunteers of the 1st and 2nd Regiments became involved in more than just garrison duty. Usually they became involved through Union attacks into Confederate North Carolina or Confederate attacks into the occupied areas. In early 1864, Confederate General George Pickett led an expedition against New Bern. At Beech Grove near that city, the Confederates captured 53 men in Company F, 2nd Regiment on February 1, 1864 – 27 of those men had previously deserted from the Confederate army. Pickett ordered a court martial and 22 of the men were hung at Kinston between February 5nd and February 22nd. The controversy that resulted from Pickett’s actions continued long after the end of the war.
Guerrilla warfare became a way of life in the coastal regions. The true nature of a “civil war” was experienced by many of those who lived in the eastern part of North Carolina for they endured more than a Northern or Southern invader marching through their lives – they endured the loss of nearly everything to men who had been their neighbors and they endured these wretched conditions for over three years. Whether unionist, secessionist, free black, or slave, their lives were forever changed by the war and the hard peace that followed. The war had utterly destroyed any concept of what had been law or justice.
Source: Donald E. Collins, “Eastern North Carolinians in the Union Army: The First and Second North Carolina Union Volunteer Regiments, http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncuv/collins1.htm accessed April 27, 2012.
Source: Wayne K. Durrill, War of Another Kind: A Southern Community in the Great Rebellion [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990].
***** May Program *****
Blockade Runner Modern Greece – Archaeology Program
Dr. Mark Wilde-Ramsing provided our membership with a view of Civil War blockade running and the underwater salvage and mapping efforts that have been done since the Modern Greece was rediscovered in 1962. Fifty years of underwater archaeology efforts have added a significant number of shipwreck sites, artifacts, and archaeological preservation techniques to our knowledge of events that occurred during the heady days of blockade running on the Cape Fear.
Modern Greece – artist rendition
Mark began his presentation with a look at the Mosley 1733 and the Collet 1770 maps of the Cape Fear – the difference, and what made this region so important to the blockade running trade, was New Inlet. Opened by a 1761 storm, this inlet provided two entrances into the Cape Fear River. These two inlets and the shallow waters of Frying Pan Shoals made it difficult for the Union Blockading Fleet to easily prevent ships from entering the river. As the war continued, New Inlet and Wilmington increased in importance to the Confederate war effort. While many sleek blockade runners made successful runs into and out of the Cape Fear River, the lumbering Modern Greece failed in the attempt.
The following explains the significance of the underwater wrecks that were numerous in the Cape Fear region. This information was taken from the “National Register of Historic Places Nomination: Cape Fear Civil War Shipwreck District” that Mark and Wilson Angley submitted in September 1985.
During the Civil War at least thirty-one steam and twenty-two sail blockade-runners, as well as a wide assortment of Federal and Confederate military vessels were lost in the Cape Fear River area. With the exception of the USS Peterhoff, which was lost in a collision, all wrecks were stranded along the beach or on inlet shoals and sank in shallow waters (<30 feet). Upon wrecking, a vessel became the focus of furious attempts to save it and its cargo. The Federals had the decided advantage in efforts to recover the total vessel since they could approach from sea with tugboats. The Confederates concentrated on a wreck's cargo, which was not only more important to their specific need, but could be unloaded with ease onto the beaches which they controlled.
Mark Wilde-Ramsing – Underwater Archaeologists
Mark explained the early efforts of the first navy divers to recover artifacts from the Modern Greece. He then discussed the laws that North Carolina enacted to protect shipwrecks in the waters of this state. His presentation touched on the mapping and survey of shipwreck sites and the advances in technology that have aided in these efforts. After giving a brief history of several of the blockade runners and the CSS Raleigh, Mark ended his presentation with references to the March 2012 recovery efforts by an ECU led group to complete the discovery and cataloging of artifacts that have remained in outdoor holding tanks at the Underwater Archaeology Lab at Fort Fisher since 1962 - 1963. After 150 years, the Modern Greece continued to yield pertinent “bits of history” about the story that was blockade running in the Cape Fear during the Civil War.
Note: The photo of the blockade runner shown in the May issue was incorrectly identified as the Modern Greece.
***** Comments and Suggestions *****
Comments and suggestions to make the Cape Fear Civil War Round Table and “The Runner” more relevant to your Civil War experience are welcomed. Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “CFCWRT News” in your Subject line.
***** Trivia Questions for May 2012 *****
1 – Who was the first commander of the Texas Brigade after it was formed on October 22, 1861? Louis Trezevant Wigfall. Born in South Carolina in 1816 and a transplant to Texas in 1846, Wigfall was a lawyer who was very active in Texas politics. He entered the United States Senate in 1859 as a leading fire-eater and representative of the states’ rights and slavery positions. On April 12, 1861, Wigfall was in Charleston, South Carolina urging Anderson to surrender Fort Sumter to Confederate forces. He served as an aide to Jefferson Davis and a member of the Provisional Congress. Appointed brigadier by Jefferson Davis, Wigfall was commander of the Texas Brigade until he resigned to enter the Confederate Senate.
Initially a supporter of Davis, Wigfall became a leading opponent of his former friend. After the Confederacy’s fall, Wigfall moved to England where he continued to push for the rise of the old Confederacy. He relocated to Baltimore in 1872 and died in Galveston on February 18, 1874.
Source: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwi04, accessed April 22, 2012.
2 – Where is Eltham’s Landing? During the Peninsular Campaign, McClellan dispatched William B. Franklin’s division to make a amphibious landing at Eltham’s Landing (West Point) on the York River to position his troops behind Joe Johnston’s retreating Confederates. W.H.C. Whiting’s division was sent to oppose Franklin’s force. John Bell Hood led his Texas Brigade with Wade Hampton’s Legion in attacking Franklin and driving the Union troops back and allowing Johnston’s wagon train to escape.
Source: http://www.hmdb.org/Marker.asp?Marker=17505 , accessed April 22, 2012.
3 – The Texas Brigade garnered a reputation for being somewhat disrespectful of military authority. How did they react to officers they felt were less than sufficient to command them? From an article in the Civil War Times:
One of the first challenges came when the men were organized into units, and officials in Richmond appointed their regimental officers. Although the recruits knew to expect this, they insisted on having some say in the process. The 4th Texas, for example, refused to have R.T.P. Allen as their colonel – they had had enough of his martinet manners in their training camps back home. The 5th Texas took note of Frank Schaller’s pageantry, foreign accent and, perhaps, his Jewish heritage, though the men said nothing about it. But Schaller awoke on morning to find his horse’s mane and tail cropped and the girth cut from the saddle, and he promptly left camp. The 5th finally accepted as their leader, if briefly, Colonel J.J. Archer, though many remained suspicious of the “too-near-Yankeedom” Marylander. And they made such a mockery of Major J.Q. Quattlebaum’s name and habits that the man resigned, insisting “that if he had to associate with devils he would wait until he went to hell, where he could select his own company.”
Source: Susannah J. Ural and Rick Eiserman, “The Winter That Made the Texas Brigade,” Civil War Times, August 2011.
4 - What observation did General Lee share with John Bell Hood about precautions needed when Hood’s Texans were in an area? “Ah, General Hood, when you Texans come about the chickens have to roost mighty high.”
Source: J.B. Hood, Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United Sates & Confederate Sates Armies [1880; repr., New York: Da Capo Press, 1993], 51.
5 - How many artifacts were recovered from the Modern Greece during the 1962 - 1963 salvage effort? The Modern Greece was a virtual hardware store that brought not only weapons, powder, and military gear, but large quantities of picks, hoes, knives, etc. According to Mark Wilde-Ramsing, over 11,500 items were salvaged during the efforts in 1962 - 1963. This volume of items recovered from the Modern Greece allowed the Underwater Archaeology Lab personnel to experiment with preservation methods that would best stabilize each type of item.
6 – Who was the famous passenger on the Condor when the ship ran aground on October 1, 1864? Why was this passenger so insistent on reaching shore and avoiding Yankee capture? Rose O’Neal Greenhow. Having been imprisoned by the Federal authorities earlier in the war and having represented the Confederate government in Europe, Greenhow was adamant about getting to shore to avoid capture and further imprisonment or death by hanging. Failing to heed the warning of the Condor’s British captain, Rose paid the ultimate price for attempting to escape in the raging surf. Weighted down by gold coins secured on her person, Greenhow drown during her rowboat escape and was laid to rest in Wilmington’s Oakdale Cemetery after she received full military honors from the Confederate government.
Source: Dawson Carr, Gray Phantoms of the Cape Fear: Running the Civil War Blockade [Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, Publisher 1998] 104 -111.